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What Makes A Summer Fabric?

Rejoice, for the season of early tee-times, backyard BBQs, and trips to the shore has finally arrived. As summer breaks into full swing, it’s essential to understand the significance of choosing the right fabrics for your warm-weather wardrobe. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors that make a fabric perfect for the summer season: breathability, weight, and color.


summer suitsWhen the sun shines brighter, it’s crucial to prioritize breathability in your clothing. Breathable fabrics allow air to circulate and wick away moisture, keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the day. A fabric’s breathability is in part determined by how tightly the fibers are woven together. The looser the weave, the more air can escape. Naturally thick fibers like cotton and wool are sturdy enough to be woven together loosely without sacrificing durability and structure. Synthetic blends like polyester have much finer threads requiring a tighter weave. Here are some popular summer fabrics renowned for their breathability:

  1. Linen: A classic choice for a good reason. Linen offers exceptional breathability due to its loose weave and cotton fibers. It absorbs moisture while allowing air to flow, making it ideal for hot and humid climates. Handle linen with care as it is very susceptible to being wrinkled. Explore more about suit care here.
  2. Seersucker: This puckered cotton fabric is a summer staple. Seersucker gets its name from the Persian word for ‘milk & sugar’ as its origins go back centuries. Its unique texture allows for excellent air circulation, making it perfect for suits, shirts, and trousers.
  3. Chambray: Often mistaken for denim, chambray is a lightweight, plain-woven fabric made from cotton. Its breathable nature and softness give it a distinctive summertime appearance.

What Cloth Weight

linen suitWhile breathability is essential, the weight of the fabrics also plays a crucial role in determining its suitability for summer wear. Lighter fabrics allow for better airflow and offer a more comfortable experience. Here are a few examples of lightweight fabrics perfect for the summer season:

  1. 4.5-6 Ounces – Very Lightweight: Think linen, madras, and chambray. Perfect for shirts in both long and short-sleeve options. Very lightweight garments are prone to creasing and wrinkling so use proper hangers when storing. Explore more about shirt care here.
  2. 6-8 Ounces – Lightweight: Fabrics of this weight feel light on the shoulder and do a great job of keeping you relatively cool and comfortable in the heat. Mills like Dormeuil and Scabal often mix other fibers with silk making the garment lighter along with giving it a wonderful shine and softness.
  3. 8-10.5 – Middleweight: As we get into 8.5-ounce cloth, we arrive in the “midweight” category. These fabrics are workhorses – light enough to wear in the heat, and heavy enough to wear in the cold. You may have seen terms like “9-season fabric,” “10-season fabric,” or “year-round fabric” – they all refer to this kind of cloth. Extremely versatile, we focus most of our attention on fabrics in this weight range whenever we work with someone who’s just starting to build his wardrobe.


orange seersucker custom shummer shirtWhen it comes to color, summer presents an opportunity to embrace lighter and more vibrant tones. Darker colors will absorb more UV rays and leave you feeling overheated. The right color choice can help reflect sunlight. Consider the following colors for your summer wardrobe:

  1. Pastels: Soft pastel shades like light blue, mint green, pale pink, and lavender exude a fresh and airy vibe, reflecting sunlight and minimizing heat absorption.
  2. Neutrals: Classic neutrals like beige, cream, and light gray are versatile options for summer. They reflect light well and provide a sophisticated and cool look, especially in lightweight fabrics.
  3. Bold Accents: Don’t be afraid to add pops of color to your summer outfits. Vibrant accessories or shirts in shades of coral, turquoise, or sunny yellow can inject energy and elevate your style. Try adding one colorful article of clothing to a muted outfit to give it a stage to shine on.


Still, have questions about summer fabrics? Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com to start a conversation.

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